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Israel’s Prime Minister Visits Cleveland; Receives Official Welcome of the City

Israel Prime Minister David Ben Gurion received the official welcome of the City of Cleveland today, the ninth American city the Israeli leader has visited on his current transcontinental tour.

The Premier was met at Cleveland Airport by a large welcoming committee headed by Ezra Shapiro, chairman of the executive committee of the local Israel bond drive, and with his party proceeded to the Mall, along Cleveland City Hall, in a 25-car motorcade. A detachment of mounted police escorted the procession to the reviewing stand.

Overcast skies and the threat of storms kept the attendance down to about 2,000, and several hundred children from Jewish schools carrying posters in Hebrew they had lettered themselves welcoming the Israel Premier. Mayor Thomas E. Burke of Cleveland greeted the Prime Minister and read out a proclamation making this Israel Independence Day in Cleveland. The mayor spoke in warm terms of the achievements of the people of Israel during their three years of statehood and paid warm tribute to Ben Gurion as a ” world statesman and man of action.”

In a brief reply, Ben Gurion thanked Cleveland for its reception and compared the United States and Israel. Both countries, he said, had the pioneering spirit, both were built up by development of wastelands and by large immigration.